New laws will lift Telstra's transparency

The Federal Government today introduced new laws aimed at increasing telecommunications competition and making Telstra more transparent.

Science Minister Peter McGauran tabled laws that would force Telstra to split its retail and wholesale accounting arms to make the company's business more transparent.

The split, he said, would reveal any cross subsidies by Telstra, preventing the use of the giant telco's wholesale operations to boost the retail division.

It will certainly make it easier for the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to examine the role of Telstra in allowing access to the network by competitors and reduce market dominance.

"Accounting separation will assist in identifying whether Telstra is discriminating between itself and its competitors in relation to price or non-price terms and conditions of supply," he said.

Moreover, Telstra will be unable to bog down competitors in lengthy appeals against the ACCC arbitrations.

The Telecommunications Competition Bill has won the support of junior telcos with the Competitive Carriers' Coation (CCC) claiming it will increase investment.

The CCC's five members -- AAPT, Hutchison Telecommunications (Australia), Macquarie Corporate Telecommunications, PowerTel and Primus Telecommunications -- banded together in April to lobby the ACCC on competition issues.

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More about AAPTAustralian Competition and Consumer CommissionAustralian Competition and Consumer CommissionHutchisonHutchison Telecommunications (Aust)Macquarie Corporate TelecommunicationsPowerTelPrimus AustraliaPrimus TelecommunicationsTelstra Corporation

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